Great Britain’s bid to defend their women’s Olympic hockey gold ended in disappointment, as they were comprehensively outclassed by Netherlands.
The Dutch powered through the pool stage and crushed New Zealand to reach the semi-finals.
Netherlands went into the match with GB having scored 21 goals, conceding two. Their toughest test heading into the semis was a 1-0 win over GB in the pool stage, but the defending champions could not repeat the performance and were beaten 5-1 in sweltering heat at the Oi Hockey Stadium.
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Maddie Hinch, the hero of the quarter-final win over Spain with her saves in the shootout, was the busier of the two goalkeepers. She made an early save to ease the tension, and produced an excellent stop from a penalty corner at the end of the first quarter.
The Dutch took control of the contest in the second quarter. The opening goal came on 18 minutes, with a fast counter seeing Laurien Leurink play in Felice Albers to open the scoring.
The lead was doubled within a minute, as Xan de Waard found Marloes Keetels in acres of space and she smashed the ball beyond Hinch.
“Talk about perfect quarters of hockey,” was the view from the Eurosport commentary box. “That's not far off it from the Netherlands. They’ve done everything they wanted to do with two goals in a minute.”
Relentless in attack, organised and determined in defence, the Dutch were utterly dominant and they secured a three-goal cushion on 32 minutes when Maria Verschoor converted from a penalty corner.
Albers netted her sixth goal of Tokyo 2020 when seizing on some sloppy defending from GB to score on 38 minutes.
A deflected stroke from a penalty corner by Giselle Ansley on 41 minutes gave GB some hope, but the Dutch regrouped and put some gloss on the scoreline when Frederique Matla beat Hinch from a penalty corner on 49 minutes.
The Dutch will await the winners of the clash between Argentina and India, while GB will take on the losing side in the battle for bronze.
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